Salute to a servant of the community
Exactly twenty years ago, a Draycott-in-the-Moors man decided that the area needed a football team of its own. So he founded one.
That dream has led Brian Hilton and his ‘Draycott Potter’ team on promotion through three divisions, playing on three different pitches – and with two distinct club names!
But – what was the best day of his time with Draycott Potter FC? Brian says that that question is easy to answer: “Unquestionably, when we got promotion in 2010 to Division One (of the Uttoxeter League). That was a great day. And we’re still there.”
Now 68 years old, Brian has been the ever-present chairman of DPFC, which has at last settled to a superb ground on Cresswell Old Lane. In terms of the set-up, it’s probably fair to say that Brian has also filled the extra roles of secretary, groundsman, and even handyman (he built some of the portable changing rooms!).
He’s especially proud of creating the present pitch, which was nothing but a farmer’s field when he started on it; he claims it’s taken him ten years to get it right. A few years ago, he was even seen mowing it just days after he left hospital following an operation…
The ground is so good that Tean Albion have requested to use it when Draycott Potter are playing away.
Bran recalls that the club started out as ‘Anchor Potter’, because, at that time, he could only get support from the Anchor Pub in nearby Teanford. Nevertheless, even then the side played on a pitch at Draycott, on Draycott Old Road. Brian was able to walk there, if he wanted, from his former home, the well-known Boundary House.
Later, a little help came from the local authorities, including a grant from Councillor Mike Maryon’s community-fund. And soon sponsorship was coming from businesses who’d heard of the ‘Reds’.
Right now, the team’s sponsors are The Mango Tree Restaurant, which is sited at the western end of Draycott. Why did they decide to sponsor the team? Brian is modest: “I think when I went in there to talk about it, they just liked me, and it went well after that.”
And so now the team, which had changed its name, was truly ‘Draycott Potter’.
And what next on this, his 20th anniversary with the club? Brian admits that a great pleasure is watching the progress of his grandson, Shaun Phillips, who has matured into a very good striker for the side.
And when asked if he thinks of retiring, he says: “Yes, I should really, but now I’ve been able to retire from my plumbing business, I have more time on my hands… so I might do one more season. Or two.”
Draycott Potter FC play on the Cresswell Old Lane pitch, in the the Uttoxeter & District Sunday Football League Division One. Home games usually take place on Sundays, kick-off at 10.30am.
If you want to add your comments on Brian’s achievement, please use the comments box at the bottom of this page